He is Risen

Forever He is risen, He is alive

Amen we celebrate this weekend the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and look forward to His ascension so that we may too take part in His eternal life.

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” ~ Gen 3:15

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” ~ Psalm 107:19-20

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” ~ 2 Cor 5:17

This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

“52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread[a] the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus[b] said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
~ John 6:50-59

 

#MusicMonday

 

I Don’t Like Being Confronted (Part i)

I love being confronted. One of the things I like most is listening to a lecture and learning something new that is vital or hearing a sermon that allows the Holy Spirit to convict me. The confrontation that comes from this, whilst may be emotional and make me feel uncomfortable, is very good because it’s a blessing from God; it teaches me and makes me grow.

I have had a few conversations with Christians now where maybe I have been too rough with my choice of language, but whether I spoke in a bitter or sweet tone, they respond that they don’t like being confronted. Personally, I’m thinking great, they have heard the Holy Spirit and are now seeing their mistake, just like I have many times before. I really love that experience of becoming aware of the darkness within but also having that light to cling onto, so that I may strengthen. But unfortunately, this is (in my experiences) usually not what my brethren are thinking. They are thinking “I do not like being confronted, because I don’t want/need to be”.

Okay, let’s back it up a bit here. As Christians we are followers of Christ. Which means putting off our old self and looking towards the prize which is [in] Jesus Christ (Luke 9:23, Gal 2:20, Phil 3:14). A part of our process which many pastors (especially those Lutheran ones) have repeatedly taught is that we are to realise our sin and then through God become renewed, strengthened, made holy etc. And that is how we become more like Christ, Amen? It concerns me if a brother or sister after a lengthy discussion says ‘I do not like being confronted’, because it tells me that their focus is not on Christ and the life that He gives, but on them wanting to hide away their faults.

The Holy Spirit convicts us. And we need it.
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
John 3:19-21

We are beings who have fallen short of God and constantly struggle to maintain good behaviour. To compare light with dark you can see the contrast between each. God is a light unto our lives (John 8:12) and in result He shows us where the dark spots are in our lives and ourselves. Interestingly enough, one of the readings for today Good Friday, is Hebrews 10:16-25 which helps us understand this:
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,” he also adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

The most important thing for my argument I want to point here is the first verse, “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds”. For when people are revealed to the truth of Christ this collides with their “in-built” knowledge of the law and they instantly understand their sin and see the need for Christ. So to say that you don’t want or need to be confronted, is to say you do not want to confess that you are or have been a sinful being who needs Christ.

The second part I want to point out, is the encouragement for faith and hope. If we see we have struggles and faults, we are to have faith and assurance that Christ has made us clean in His death and resurrection. Amen. And we do not need to continue in guilt for we have hope that God may guide us onto the right path.

I know confrontation is hard, but it is necessary. I know sometimes brethren don’t take the right approach to talk about it, but the truth still remains. We need confrontation and conviction. We need to see the darkness, the sin, so that we may strive towards the light.

In the follow up to this I will write up a short discussion on how we can approach (and/or confront) Christians and non-Christians peacefully, so that they may learn.

May the Lord bless you and keep you!

Inactive

I’m sorry for all the recent inactivity, I haven’t even been keeping up with Music Mondays.
I have a small list of things to talk about, a fair bit of controversial stuff that I want to get off my chest, regarding sexuality.
I also have some ideas to create a post about ‘modern’ heresies, those small incorrect teachings that manage to worm their way around youth and “modern” styled congregations. Some tough topics, but they’re on mind.

In the meantime if you want to ask any questions about teachings, beliefs, theology etc… Feel free to at yahwehnature.tumblr.com/ask
And I will answer there and then give a “Blog version” of the response here.

Why did Jesus have to die? – Why God didn’t kill Jesus on Good Friday

God knew the the cross was in store because God knew us.

The Millennial Pastor

We are on the doorstep of Holy Week.

Clergy types will soon be setting out to write and preach sermons that somehow make sense of the passion story, from Triumphant Entry, to Last Supper, to Trial and Crucifixion and finally Resurrection.

Along the way, it will be important to say something about how the death of a wandering preacher, teacher and healer on a cross is the means of our salvation… and what exactly we are being saved from.

This is a tricky endeavour because the story of the passion doesn’t explain the reasons. Instead we are left to fill in the gaps, and Christians have been trying to make sense of Christ’s death since St. Paul was writing letters.

And so often on Good Friday, a strange and convoluted theory of the reasons for Christ’s death is presented… one that makes God seem merciless, if not plain incoherent.

Often…

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Our Contradictory Divided Self

J.S. Park

We can be pretty weird.

We cry “It’s not fair!” when it happens to us, but blink when it happens to the next guy.

Hardly ever do we admit we’re wrong, and when we do, it comes with a “But” explanation that undoes our apology.

We’re threatened when someone else achieves success, yet run to those who are successful to ask for special favors and collaborations.

We’re quick to buy into the false philosophies of Hollywood and pop songs and romanticized soundbites, but we re-post dreamy idealistic quotes and never live out what they say.

We resist change, even when those changes come from free services we don’t have to pay for.

We feel entitled to things that didn’t exist a year ago.

We get mad in traffic, which does nothing to the traffic.

We do everything possible to extend our lifespan…

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